Democratic Senators Speak Out on Tracy Thorne-Begland Judicial Nomination


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    Today, Senator Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) and Senator Adam Ebbin (D-Alexadria) spoke out against GOP lawmakers in Richmond, who voted against appointing Tracy Thorne-Begland to the Richmond District Court simply because he was gay.

    “Tracy Thorne-Begland is a highly qualified and exceptionally competent prosecutor, who also served our country with honor as a Navy pilot. The blatant prejudice that Republicans displayed last night should have no place in our government. The GOP took Virginia back to the bigotry and mean-spirited prejudice of the 1960s. I thought we had made more progress toward a just society than this,” said Senator McEachin.

    “The debate in the House of Delegates was homophobic and embarrassing, and showed a disrespect to a chief deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney and decorated veteran who was honorably discharged,” said Sen. Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria), Virginia’s first openly gay senator. “It’s also offensive that the Senate Republican leadership  wouldn’t even grant Lt. Thorne-Begland the courtesy of a Senate vote.”

    “The only criteria legislators should apply when selecting judges are that person’s ability to fairly and impartially weigh the law. Mr. Thorne-Begland’s qualifications for appointment to the bench were unimpeachable, but Republicans cynically voted against his appointment just because he was gay,” said Senator McEachin.

    “Why don’t House Republicans trust a Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney to uphold the Constitution? Are they afraid of a tough on crime prosecutor? They question a distinguished former Naval Lieutenant who told the truth? They say that a Navy Achievement Medal awarded by the Secretary of the Navy isn’t meaningful?

    Their opposition to Tracy Thorne-Begland’s nomination was for one reason and one reason alone. Because he is openly gay,” added Senator Ebbin.

    • See here for more.

      Highlights from “Liberty Sunday.” Mitt Romney at anti-gay conference calls same-sex marriage “a blow to the foundation of civilization” and said “the price of same-sex marriage is paid by children.”

    • ir003436

      I’ve been searching and searching — can’t find it — I need to know how my HOD rep Margaret Ransone voted (or abstained) on this nomination.

      I’m a regular letter-writer to our local papers and I’d love to have another sin to lay on her head.

      Where can I find a list of how all delegates voted on this?


    • LGBT Democrats of Virginia Responds to Republican Rejection of Tracy Thorne-Begland

      Richmond, VA (Tuesday, May 15, 2012) – Early this morning, Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates voted against appointing Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Tracy Thorne-Begland as a judge on Richmond’s 13th District Court. Had Thorne-Begland been appointed, he would have been the first openly gay judge elected in Virginia.

      Though Thorne-Begland had bipartisan support when nominated, a smear campaign led by Republican Delegate Marshall, based solely on Thorne-Begland’s sexual-orientation, resulted in the rejection of Thorne-Begland as a nominee.

      “Tracy Thorne-Begland has spent his life in the service of his country, state and community,” said Brian Boyce, Caucus Chair of the LGBT Democrats of Virginia. He continued, “To disqualify him from being the first openly gay judge based solely upon his sexual-orientation is a disgrace to our Commonwealth.”

      “We believe that Virginians deserve more from their leaders,” said Tiffany Joslyn, PAC President of the LGBT Democrats of Virginia. “We are dedicated to working to ensure that the day comes where public servants like Tracy Thorne-Begland are judged based on their qualifications, and not their sexual-orientation.” She continued, “With this vote, Republicans have clearly shown that that they are not able to govern without discrimination.”

    • The treatment that Mr. Thorne-Begland received by the General Assembly, well after midnight Tuesday morning, was disgraceful and offensive. Mr. Thorne-Begland is a highly qualified prosecutor who served our country with distinction as a member of the United States Navy.  His nomination to the General District Court bench was rejected by a majority of Republicans in the General Assembly solely because of his sexual orientation.   Together with many of my fellow Virginians, I am embarrassed by what I witnessed take place early this morning.

    • Mike1987

      Dave Marsden is all out for timidity. I’m less than impressed.

    • Mike1987

      We have sunk to Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, and Oklahoma. Up next, republicans will seek to outlaw shira law, voting, mexicans, gays again, science, and weather. A once proud Commonwealth is no more. Hate, fear, and loathing; our base instincts, have taken over.